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A Lover's Landing Novella

Playing For Keeps

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In the game of love, there are winners and losers---especially for those that play for keeps.

Two peas in a pod…
Bethany and Cody have been best friends since kindergarten. They grew up in the small town of Love Georgia, and there were rumors that they were more than just friends. Cody didn’t mind the town gossip, because secretly it was true. He was in love with his best friend. Unfortunately, it was a secret he chose to keep to himself, after Bethany accepted a scholarship and moved to California.

Long distance friendship…
Living on separate coasts didn’t keep the two friends from staying in touch. Bethany could always count on Cody to be there for her and give her support and advice. As the years passed, Bethany began to realize just how much she missed her family and friends, especially her best friend, Cody. Through messages, phone calls and occasional visits, Bethany starts to wonder if her feelings for Cody run much deeper than friendship.

Reunited once again…
Bethany returns to her hometown, after accepting a teaching job at Love Elementary School. Now that the two friends are reunited, they have the perfect opportunity to admit their true feelings for each other. Unfortunately for Cody, timing is everything. When Bethany starts dating her high school crush and his good friend, Austin Newberry, he realizes he may be losing his chance. Will Cody be willing to let Bethany go without a fight once again? Or will fighting, for the girl of his dreams, cost him both of his friends?

First published February 21, 2019

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About the author

Marie Savage

11 books335 followers
Marie Savage is a self-published contemporary southern romance author who has a love for family, friendships, patriotic spirit, and hometown pride.

Born and raised in the Florida Panhandle, she has always had a love for reading and writing, with the romance genre being her obvious favorite. Her desire to expand her horizons, led her to join the United States Air Force and proudly serve her country for six years.

While stationed in California, she met her true love and together they have shared life's beautiful joys and tragic losses. After spending over half her life in the Central Valley of California, she has moved back home to the Wiregrass area of Alabama, where her passion for writing first began.

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5 stars
46 (66%)
4 stars
17 (24%)
3 stars
5 (7%)
2 stars
1 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews
320 reviews18 followers
February 9, 2019
I received this as ARC and absolutely loved it. Bethany and Cody’s turns kept me wanting to turn the page. Great book and great Series !
Profile Image for Amy M. (Amy Loves Reading Blog).
659 reviews47 followers
February 24, 2019
Way more than 5 stars!!!! I have to say though that I was quite upset with Bethany for most of the book though!! This author is brand new to me and while the way the book was told in a different point of view than I’m used to reading it didn’t effect my take on the book at all.

Bethany is a unique woman and while at the beginning of her story I felt so sad for her and knew she was going through a transition I couldn’t help but also be angry. She has this incredible man who, yes I understand they are best friends, does everything in his power to make her happy and safe but then”friend zones” him! 🤯 Like dude, he’s a firefighter now!!!

Now while Bethany has her issues and keeps quiet Cody isn’t innocent in this thing either since he has these feelings too!! I know all men think the little things they do we will understand what they are feeling but we are just as dumb sometimes too!!

I loved this story so much even with the anger and disappointment in each character but I also felt the connection too!! They sucked me in and made me think about my life with my best friend and husband. Such a great story and I’m ready for more!! 😍💜
Profile Image for Teri.
3,919 reviews32 followers
February 19, 2019
The battle of best friends to lovers is never easy, especially when you aren't sure if they feel the same. I love best friends to lovers books and this one didn't disappoint. It shows skill to be able to portray all the feels in such a limited space as a novella and still pull it off but this author does it well. Finally returning home and trying to distract herself she doesn't talk to Cody she goes on a date. These two make the typical mistake, something we would NEVER do in real life (eye rolling too hard), you got it communicate!! I say it all the time use your words. Great read and yeah plenty of feels and a hea!!! This is my first read by this author and I have enjoyed myself fully and didn't throw my kindle. Win win. Great read that's fits into this series perfectly.
Profile Image for 2OCC Reviews.
3,445 reviews239 followers
February 25, 2019
The novellas of A Lovers Landing series are quick splendid reads. Based in Love, Georgia revolving around Lover’s Landing coffee shop and the magic of brews that Harold and Betty produce. I loved how all the stories seem to have some cross over with the other ones. I read 4 of the novellas and am looking forward to reading the rest.

Playing For Keeps brings childhood friends Bethany and Cody back together in their hometown of Love, Georgia. A wonderful story of undisclosed feelings that have both of the characters questioning everything that their relationship has been. Both of them want to tell the other their true feelings and reading the back and forth with each other and within their own hearts is marvelous. 5 Stars #2OCCM
Profile Image for Sarah DeLong .
1,457 reviews1 follower
February 21, 2019
I was quickly immersed into the lives of Bethany and Cody. These two both have feelings for each other that go beyond their "best friends" status. Unfortunately, the timing never seems to be right for either one to confess to one another what they're feeling. Misunderstandings and misconceptions seem to work against these two every step of the way. Can they overcome their insecurities and the obstacles in their paths? Will the rumored magic in the coffee of Lover's Landing in Love, Georgia work it's magic? You'll have to pick up a copy of this quick to read novella and find out for yourself.
162 reviews10 followers
February 9, 2019
I was so happy to receive the ARC of this book. This book was so good. I totally enjoyed reading about Bethany and Cody. Being best friends through school and both having feelings for one another but not wanting to ruin their friendship. A definite page tuner that keeps you intrigued the whole time. Will these two finally get together or will they fall in love with others? Oh my the ending was what I was hoping for and more. Thanks Marie, another 5 star read in this series. Look forward to reading more books of yours as this was my first by you.
Profile Image for Jodi Bird (Ruby Red Romance Review).
1,168 reviews88 followers
February 25, 2019
5 STAR Review by Jodi for Ruby Red Romance Review

I loved Playing for Keeps. Marie Savage is newer to me, but her story was great. The characters were well developed and the story flowed well. I have one issue with the story though. At times, I really didn't like Bethany. This girl has been on the other side of the country and now she's home. She could have claimed Cody at any moment. But she doesn't. They hurt Cody feels is apparent and it broke my heart for him.

Cody is a sweet kind man. He works hard and he's hot... not seriously...he's a firefighter. But with that being said...Bethany's not all at fault for how things go. Cody should have been honest and upfront. End the end, they figure it out. The one that has always had your back is usually the one who will always be around no matter what. I loved when these two finally fell.

Please check out this awesome story.
Profile Image for Amanda M.
1,966 reviews16 followers
February 11, 2019
This was a fantastic story. I was hooked from the beginning to the end. It told a story of love that was always there from childhood best friends that blossomed into something more. This is a definite must read.
I received an ARC of this book and I loved it.
404 reviews
February 18, 2019
This is the 4th book of the Lovers Landing series, that I have read. I really enjoyed it. And being married to my own firemen for 37 years, made it extra special. And I too married my best friend.
Great book, highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Crystal Gray.
1,083 reviews30 followers
February 19, 2019
Bethany and Cody's friendship is unbreakable, or is it? What happens when stronger feelings develop? I enjoyed getting to know Austin better, he was mentioned in a few of the other stories in this series. I was only left with one unanswered question, which I could have missed the answer to, but what happened the previous Christmas for Bethany to rush back home to California? Oh well, it's not super important :-)
Profile Image for Bre-Book Bre- Landers.
298 reviews5 followers
February 26, 2019
This is one of the cutest novellas i've read. It is a part of a series but this is the first one i've read. I now need to find the rest!!! Can be read as a standalone. A total romantic novella that has me looking for more. This one wont disappoint!!
Profile Image for Chele.
634 reviews
February 9, 2019
I love this story .
I give it 5 stars and I recommend it to everyone.
Profile Image for Connie Snyder.
58 reviews
February 13, 2019
Omg! Completely in love with this story! So relatable how many times have we let a good thing go because of pride? Or not trusting our "gut"? Bethany and Cody definitely make you frustrated and happy all at the same time! Definite a one-click read! Im ready to move to Love Georgia!
Profile Image for Gwen Shafer.
1,838 reviews23 followers
February 15, 2019
I absolutely love these short stories from Love Georgia. Best friends since they started school. Nothing could come between these two. She comes back home to start her dream job. Will they get the happy ever after? Loved it . Sweet gripping from beginning to end. Enjoyable addition to this series.
Profile Image for Jennifer Pierson.
11.2k reviews145 followers
February 24, 2019
Bethany and Cody have been best friends their whole life, but Cody has secretly loved her almost as long, he's just always been too scared to tell her. She's been gone for a long time, but now she's finally coming home to Love, Georgia to stay, and hopefully he's going to tell her now. He continues to wait, and she starts to see another guy, and he's lost his chance again. However, he does kiss her, but it makes everything weird, so the push & pull is driving me crazy throughout this short(ish) story, and I want to shake them both until their teeth rattle to be honest. Throughout all this crazy drama of will he or won't he, should she or shouldn't she, I swear I have a bald spot on my head. There wasn't OW or OM drama, because these two cause all of their own drama themselves. So it's Betty to the rescue to set them straight, but did she get to them both in time, because there's a twist....see for yourselves by reading Playing For Keeps. HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Profile Image for Nicole Studioso.
567 reviews6 followers
February 22, 2019
I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to read an early copy of this book in exchange for participating in the social media release of this adorable series! Cody and Bethany are the sweetest childhood friends who have always harbored romantic feelings for one another, but each was afraid to hurt the other or destroy their friendship. It was a bit heartbreaking to see them separated and living apart, but when Bethany returns to town to accept a teaching job, I just knew that sparks were going to fly! Cody's again torn, this time by his feelings for Bethany, which never stopped, and worrying about his best friend Austin, who really likes Bethany. It was touch and go and there were times I just wanted to smack them both in the head, but like they say, some people just have to learn the hard way!
36 reviews16 followers
February 21, 2019
Who doesn't love the idea of falling in love with your best friend??!! This has been a great series & Bethany and Cody are such great friends....you just know that they belong together!! Once I started this story, I was unable to put it down! Bethany did NOT listen to me & left home after High School(LOL). She becomes a teacher and ends up taking a job back home at the local elementary school. And while I'm super excited to get these two together FINALLY....she goes(and does NOT listen to me YET again..LOL) and goes out with her old high school crush.
There was a couple of times I was shaking my head at the both of them, BUT I trusted Marie Savage to make it ALL better....and as usual she did NOT disappoint me!! And that ending OWNED me!!! I totally recommend this story to EVERYONE!!
Profile Image for Erin Mcmahon.
472 reviews17 followers
April 8, 2019
This story was just so sweet! I really like this series and that more than one author is writing it but the styles have been really great so far!
I love this sweet friends to lovers tale. How can you walk away from the love of your life to see the world and not regret it?
How can you let the love of your life leave you and not stop them or say anything? These two best friends have tried hard to not share their feelings worried the other didn’t feel the same.
Such a great story and there was some of the magic coffee from Lovers Landing that magic brew seems to help couples find their true love.
I can’t wait to read more from Marie Savage and the rest of this series.
Profile Image for AmyLynn.
540 reviews9 followers
February 21, 2019
A best friends to lovers story that pulls on your heartstrings and has you wanting more with each page. Bethany and Cody both have strong feelings for each other that goes beyond friendship, since they were children. They are so afraid of loosing that friendship that they hide their feeling from each other for years. When Cody finally tries to tell Bethany how he feels the timing always seem to be off. Will they ever find their happiness together? I absolutely enjoyed this book and highly recommend this 5 star read.
Profile Image for Heather Navarre.
681 reviews1 follower
February 22, 2019
Friends or lovers

When you been friends forever it’s hard to tell the girl that you love her.

Cody has this problem. And then the girl moved away.

Bethany decided to go to college out of state but she comes back to Love, GA.

The chemistry between Cody and Bethany is amazing and funny how they don’t see it, but that’s what makes a good story!

Each Lovers Landing novella is a stand alone, there are some characters that make multiple appearances. You can go wrong with any of them!
Profile Image for Candyce Kirk.
1,168 reviews34 followers
February 22, 2019
Cody is definitely a relatable character and his love for Bethany is clear from the first chapter. I love stories when best friends don't realize they're in love or are afraid to tell each other! They both have things going on and have known each other forever. Bethany never expects to not being able to stop thinking about Cody and Cody doesn't know how he can keep living without her knowing. There are a lot of sweet moments and I love that this story ends around Christmas time. Definitely one to reread during the holidays!
Profile Image for Catarina Águas.
1,670 reviews44 followers
May 2, 2021
The book was good but I just couldn't for the life of me like Bethany. She irritated so freaking much. It was so obvious Cody was in love with her and she just kept pushing Austin in his face. She should had done so much more for him and tried harder. Cody should had given up on her own before the first festival and not just after the hug he saw. He deserved better than her, she pissed too much through out the book and I just couldn't with her anymore. And I know Cody should had told her how he felt before, obviously, but he was at least trying, she didn't, at all, tha was what pissed me off
Profile Image for Jenn (YeahOrNeighReviews).
1,411 reviews24 followers
February 23, 2019
Cody and Bethany have been life-long friends, but when she accepts a scholarship out of state, Cody decides to keep his feelings to himself. Years later, when she finally moves back home, Cody thinks it's the chance he's been waiting for, they're both single and at a point in their lives where they want to settle down. Too bad Austin Newberry steps in and asks her out before Cody can, even if it's partly for the wrong reason. A charming story and a sweet read!
Profile Image for Sherry Sias.
554 reviews1 follower
February 23, 2019
Another hit for Love

This is the first book by this author and I will definitely be checking out more of her work. Cody and Bethany are best friends who love each other but are afraid the other doesn't feel the same. I love how the characters and stories are written. Definitely a must read.
Profile Image for Christina.
Author 46 books261 followers
February 24, 2019
I always enjoy a good friends to lovers story, and this one was definitely an enjoyable read! I loved Cody and Bethany! Their friendship and the way they handled their feelings had me flipping pages in frustration just to make sure they ended up together!

Now, what about Austin? I wonder if he'll find love...
Profile Image for Susanne Scott.
1,231 reviews10 followers
March 12, 2019
Loved it! I’m a sucker for best friends to lovers.

I loved how everyone else knew how they felt and even told them yet they still fought it. My heart broke when Cody left, and then was healed again at the end with a little help from Santa 😉
It was beautifully written and touched so well on many true and real emotions.
Profile Image for Katie.
145 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2021
This was a quick read, as all of the Lover's Landing Novella's have been. I did enjoy the story enough and felt invested in the relationship between the two main characters. It was only at the very end that I really just stopped enjoying the read, I felt like the story not only ended predictably but it also turned very cheesy, very fast and it kind of ruined the rest of the book for me.
1,377 reviews12 followers
February 23, 2019
This one was sweet, but a little frustrating. They are best friends, and everyone can see the writing on the wall...everyone but them. It was fun to read through the steps and missteps into their coming together as a pair in love. You'd think they'd be immune...Cody doesn't like coffee!
Profile Image for Kim Gauger.
2,537 reviews3 followers
February 24, 2019
Clean and utterly fantastic

I loved these two! Friends since kindergarten and friend till the end! I love a friends to romance and this one gives you all the feels. Cody is fantastic and a perfect book boyfriend. Super clean but hits you in the feels department. Loved it
Profile Image for Kara Coens.
727 reviews2 followers
March 9, 2019
Bethany and Cody were the best of friends, and distance and time couldn't change that. When they are finally back in the same town things were bound to change!I loved this story or best friends to lovers! It had everything I could have hoped for, such sweetness mixed with just enough heat!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews

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